Stress is normal; we need a certain amount of stress to function normally. But stress does not affect everyone the same way. Too much stress or pressure, though, and it can manifest itself as aches and pains, muscle tightness, digestive problems, heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, dizziness, dry mouth, frequent need to visit the toilet, inability to concentrateirritabilitysexual problemsinsomnia, nightmares, increased infections, etc. Many people deal with stress by adopting unhealthy coping strategies, like smoking, drinking and eating too much, which further exacerbates the problems rather than helping. Stress Management can help here.

What causes stress?

Many people experience stress when they need to adapt or change. Starting a new job or school, moving to a new house or area, getting married, having a child, divorce or separation, redundancy and bereavement are all stressful triggers. In the past, doctors have treated the symptoms of stress with medication such as tranquilisers but the medical world now recognises the benefit of using more natural methods such as applied relaxation and hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms, free the sufferer from attacks and regain feelings of confidence.

Professional stress management – how can it help?

Hypnotherapy makes use of the potential of the unconscious mind to effect real changes.  This is because 90% of our behaviour is a result of subconscious conditioning, so by altering the way the subconscious responds to situations can changeour whole lives.

It is  true that we can only ever control 90% of what happens in our lives and  therefore most stressful situations are completely beyond our control. Unfortunately, the subconscious tries to protect us from situations which threaten our well-being by releasing ‘fight or flight’ hormones. In this instance we cannot run away from the situation so stress hormone release rises which causes the well-known symptoms of stress.  By training the subconscious to accept the fact that we cannot controlmost of what happens to us, it can be taught to relax so the whole body can relax.

The hypnotherapist uses their voice along with relaxing music to induce a state of hypnosis, or trance, when the client can relaxfully. In this state, the unconscious mind can be accessed and, by visualisation, encouraged to rid itself of the issues which is causing the stress or minimise the triggers. Being calm and in control of one’s emotions allows you to dealmore appropriately and effectively with the situation you find yourself in. Hypnosis can also help you remove with the coping strategies which have been employed e.g. smoking or eating disorders which further enables you to control your life rather than the situation controlling you.

Teaching self-hypnosis and relaxation is a vital part of any hypnosis programme to relieve stress and anxiety, as only then can the immune system begin to revert to its normal state with the release of normal levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, circulating in the body. The programme also requires a commitment to getting plenty of exercise, rest and sleep, eating healthily and limiting stress or stressful situations in your life. Disciplines such as yoga and meditation can also be helpful, along with a personal CD to reinforce the hypnotic message.